Need took them to a country of opportunities where opportunities are not abundant and in which they make less than half of what a “legal” person would make to do the same job. They don’t like it,but they stay.
“What was I going to do?,” Javier asks with more resignation than despair,”when I worked in the farm lands back home (in Honduras). I made $3 for all the Jornal (A full day of work.,I worked in the bean fields,” he recalls.
Now Javier sends $500 every month through Western Union that “is expensive,very expensive,but fast and easy,not complicated as the bank.”
Those $500 is a lot of money back in Honduras. His three children (that are 16,14 and 12 years old) have a home and go to school and his wife lives with dignity and pride thanks to that. Javier calls them as much as he can,but he feels lonely and doesn’t quite understand the ways of the United States.
“There is nothing beautiful here,the only beautiful thing in the world is family,children,and your old people. Here,I only have my loneliness and the chickens I cook. I can’t learn English,I barely understand it and the truth is that,if it wasn’t for the need of my people,I would never have come. But they need the money and I have to provide it,” he speaks,a little tired after working for eight hours in a construction site and another four cleaning offices.
Everything In Javier’s life is reduced to making money. He is a walking piggy bank with helmet and gloves,carrying bricks during the day and vacuum cleaning during the night.
“I managed to get a working permit,that I did through lawyers but every nine months I have to give them $700 to renew it,and if I forget (which has happened),I have to pay a $500 fine and I would have been expelled every time that has happened if my boss hadn’t defended me.”
Javier’s voyage begins with a sentence heard in Los Luises,his home town in Honduras:
“Your cousin left with so-and-so,” someone said. Then he started considering the possibility himself. He sold his oxen and left for El Salvador since there are no Coyotes (people smugglers) in Honduras.
“Going to El Salvador was easy,then I paid $1,000 to get to Arizona. There my brother paid the last fee,another $3,000,” he remembers.
To get to El Salvador,he had to walk all night with water up to the waist,and after that,Javier went inside a secret compartment in a trailer with another 70 persons. That truck would get him to Mexico.
“We were lying on each other,almost horizontal. You open your legs and someone gets in that space,he opens his legs and there goes another passenger,lying on each other's bellies. It was a secret compartment in a truck that transported apples. Among the passengers there were something like 30 women and even five kids. After a little while everyone was sick of the smell of apples.”
They traveled for days without food or water. He lost track of time.
“We traveled without stopping all the way from Salvador to Sonora,Mexico.
People made their physical needs in there,the smell was unbearable. And then it happened; they told us that if a bell rang we had to be silent for there was an inspection going on. The bell rang.”
Then they heard knocking,and voices that said,”come on,we have arrived,get down,are you hungry or thirsty? and so on. “But we knew they were inspectors and we were 70 so no one said a thing in order to protect himself and the others.”
After that incident they arrived in Agua Prieta,ready to try the border crossing.